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Friday, December 1, 2023
Dec. 1, 2023

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Humane Society’s seasonal shop at ReTails an official sign that holidays have arrived in Clark County

Humane Society’s annual offerings at ReTails draw first-day crowd of 50

By , Columbian staff writer
6 Photos
Carol Tuttle of Vancouver looks for Christmas decorations Friday at ReTails Thrift Store. The holiday store will run the entire season, wrapping up around the end of Christmas.
Carol Tuttle of Vancouver looks for Christmas decorations Friday at ReTails Thrift Store. The holiday store will run the entire season, wrapping up around the end of Christmas. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

It’s officially the holiday season, and the Humane Society for Southwest Washington and its ReTails Thrift Store are starting off on the right paw.

Friday morning’s grand opening of the ninth annual Holiday Store at ReTails drew a bustling crowd of customers. Approximately 50 people formed a line outside the doors at 5000 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.; they were among the first to explore the store’s merchandise.

Inside, customers had their pick from a wide array of secondhand holiday items, such as decorations, vintage treasures, home essentials, dinnerware, full-size artificial trees and more. The store also features a Christmas tree lot, with more than 220 holiday trees donated.

The night before, ReTails held a Holiday Store Preview Night, a ticketed event during which a select number of shoppers had early access to the holiday collection.

“This is the ninth year of the Holiday Store, and it’s our biggest and best yet,” said Jenn Rylander, vice president of operations. “Our staff and volunteers have been working all year long to process donations, plan the store layout and prepare for our busiest season of the year. It’s such a big undertaking that we have to close the day before so we can add the final touches.”

Throughout the entire year, the team at ReTails — both staff and volunteers — categorize and assign prices to the donated holiday items. This year, the team has prepared more than 45 pallets filled with holiday merchandise. Every purchase made at ReTails contributes to the support of the Humane Society and its mission in helping pets in Southwest Washington.

ReTails will display holiday items throughout the store, but it will also have all of its non-holiday merchandise available for customers.

Sam Ellingson, director of communications and marketing, said the Humane Society for Southwest Washington and ReTails expect thousands of people to stop by the first weekend.

“For the store, historically, we used to be at a smaller space. The biggest change we’ve seen since we started nine years ago is the turnout, and this new building allows us to accommodate that,” Ellingson said. “Making home goods affordable to families is another critical piece of our mission with the store.”

The Holiday Store — open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week — will run the entire season, wrapping up around the end of Christmas.

The Humane Society for Southwest Washington supports the animals and families of the community with adoption and lost-and-found services.

“This is such an important part of our year,” Rylander said. “Of course we love decorating and kicking off the holiday season, but most importantly, the sales from the Holiday Store support the lifesaving work we do with the animals every day at HSSW.”

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

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